The Texas Senate has approved on May 5 a bill that would allow people to carry a handgun publicly in the state without a license or training.
The state senate passed House Bill 1927, also known as the Firearm Carry Act of 2021, with a vote of 18 to 13, paving the way for Texas to become the 21st and largest state to allow carrying a handgun without a permit.
“HB 1927 would recognize the United States Constitution as our permit to carry and allow all law-abiding adults, aged 21 years or older, to carry a handgun for the protection of themselves or their families, in public places, in a holster, without the requirement of a state-issued license,” Republican Senator Charles Schwertner, who sponsored the bill, said.
Under current law, people are required to give their fingerprints, undergo four hours of training, and pass a written exam and shooting proficiency test to be allowed to carry a handgun.
According to a statement, Schwertner believes that a license is an “artificial barrier to the exercise of a citizen’s Second Amendment rights.”
The bill also met opposition, including majority of Texans, according to a poll by the University of Texas/Texas Tribune.
“HB 1927 would merely make it easier to carry a firearm legally in public, including by persons who should not,” Democratic Senator Judith Zaffirini said.
“A felon is going to get a gun if they want a gun, unfortunately,” Schwertner said, although he also said that the bill would not change who can legally possess a firearm under state or federal laws.
Republican Governor Gregg Abbott has expressed that he supports the bill and said he would sign it into law if it reaches his desk.
Texas already does not require a license to carry a rifle.
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